Family seeks swift justice in death of Baldwin teen

Members of Quawan ‘Bobby’ Charles’ family held up posters during a rally calling for law enforcement to make an arrest in the Baldwin 15-year-old’s death. He was reported missing on Oct. 30. His body was found outside Loreauville on Nov. 3.

According to the Iberia Parish Coroner’s Office, Quawan Charles probably died from drowning, although the manner of his death is still under investigation.

Iberia Parish Coroner Carl Ditch released a report of his preliminary autopsy findings in the death of 15-year-old Quawan Charles Friday afternoon. The preliminary cause of death is listed as “Likely drowning,” but the manner of that drowning is still undetermined pending further autopsy results, results from toxicology tests and the completion of an Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office investigation.

In addition to citing muddy water in the teen’s airways, the report said other evidence supporting the cause of death were Charles’ lungs being hyperinflated and water found in his sphenoid sinuses, the area between the eyes behind the nose.

According to the preliminary findings, there were no injuries to Charles prior to his death and no illness or disease found in the autopsy. The report attributes any lacerations to his face visible in images as part of the autopsy process and states that other facial injuries occurred after his death, “likely aquatic animal activity” resulting from Charles’s body being found in water.

A photo of Charles’ body has been circulated on social media sites, sometimes paired with a photo of a lynching victim, making a comparison between the injuries to the two bodies.

Charles’ body was found outside Loreauville on the evening of Nov. 3. According to family members, he had been reported missing days earlier, on Oct. 30, from his home in Baldwin. Although his family reported him missing to both the Baldwin Police and St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office on Oct. 30, no action was taken until the family spoke to the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office on Nov. 3.

 

Dwayne Fatherree is the community editor for The Daily Iberian. He can be reached at dwayne.fatherree@daily-iberian.com.

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